More than 18,000 people stripped off in Mexico City on Sunday to pose for American photographer Spence Tunick. The nude models gathered in the central Zocalo plaza in the Mexican capital to form a giant mosaic of flesh.
Tunick broke his own record with Sunday's mass photo shoot -- his previous record had been the 7,000 who had showed up in Barcelona to bare all back in 2003. Tunick has become famous for snapping thousands of naked people in public settings around the world, from France and Belgium, to Argentina, Australia and the United States.
It took the photographer five years to persuade the conservative Mexican authorities to give the green light for Sunday's event -- but the Mexicans themselves didnít seem to have too many inhibitions about displaying their naked bodies.
The artist told reporters at a news conference on Sunday that all eyes were on the city, to see how a country "can be free and treat the naked body as art. Not as pornography or as a crime, but with happiness." Tunick spent the day directing his cast of thousands from cranes and ladders -- telling the participants to raise their arms, salute, crouch in the fetal position and lie on their backs.
The men and women who agreed to pose for Tunick came from a broad cross section of ages and social classes, although the majority were younger men.
"The important thing is not that it's your body or someone else's but that you participate in something as a society," said 25-year-old Oscar Roman Munoz told the Associated Press.
Another of the participants, 30-year-old university lecturer Fabiola Herrera told Reuters: "This event proves that we're not such a conservative society anymore."
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